Although Halloween isn’t until Sunday, things got scary yesterday for Syracuse in its season-opening scrimmage against Pace. It was announced pregame super senior Bourama Sidibe is going to miss at least a month dealing with yet another injury, this one to his other knee.
To make matters worse, Buddy Boeheim sprained his ankle during the scrimmage, stepping on a Pace player’s foot. Boeheim immediately left the game, but returned to the bench, and called it a night shortly after.
While injuries are part of the game (and everyone hopes Buddy’s ankle is nothing serious), Sidibe’s never-ending knee issues could hurt SU in the long run. There’s no telling what the future holds for the Mali native, as what was thought to be a temporary injury last year kept him out for the length of the season. Now Jesse Edwards and Frank Anselem both looked like they took steps last night. Jim Boeheim credited both bigs after the game for their offseason improvement, which is extremely warranted. They both appeared much more confident in their roles down low, showing improved strength, hands and vision in the post.
However, Pace’s tallest players are 6-foot-8, nothing remotely close to a power five matchup. What happens when SU sees Florida State in just over a month? Can Edwards and Anselem handle a hostile environment? Is foul trouble going to be a never-ending issue like years prior? Without the experience of Sidible on the front line, there’s a chance the big games get the best of the bigs.
From a macro perspective, Syracuse should be alright. The Dome, especially with fans this year, should provide a comforting environment for Edwards and Anselem and the kinks can be worked out along the way. Getting Anselem’s raw athleticism on the floor could be a plus for a team that lacks bounce at the center spot. Coach Boeheim and assistant Adrian Autry might be able to explore some unique offensive dynamics because of this new dimension. SU should be just fine without Sidibe, as long as the young guns can handle the pressure.